MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: John G. Watson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESeptember 17, 1998
JPL DIGITAL IMAGING TECHNOLOGY HELPS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GIVE
EVERY AMERICAN SCHOOL AN UPDATED WORLD MAP
The National Geographic Society is providing a gift to
America's children by sending every school in the United States a
large, laminated, updated map of the world. Space program
technology from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA,
played a pivotal role in the creation of the satellite map
Each of the nation's more than 100,000 public and private
schools will receive the two-sided map within the next six weeks.
One side of the 1.2 x 1.8-meter (4 x 6-foot) map shows the
political world as of June 1998; the other side is a digital
image of the physical world based on images collected by
satellite. The latter was made possible in part through JPL's
digital imaging expertise, which helped create a seamless
physical world map out of more than 500 separate images. To do
so, JPL drew upon its decades of unique experience in the
enhancement and production of images of other worlds sent back by
spacecraft from throughout the solar system.
Cartographers at National Geographic Maps relied in large
part on a JPL team led by Dr. Nevin Bryant of JPL's Cartographic
Applications Group for guidance on working with digital data in
order to create the satellite map of the world.
The partnership between the National Geographic Society and
JPL was facilitated through JPL's Technology Affiliates Program,
one of the Lab's several technology transfer arms. This program
is specially designed to help American businesses and other
institutions utilize the knowledge and skills of the space
program's scientists and engineers.
"This relationship shows how well federal research can be
leveraged for the public as well as science," said Merle
McKenzie, Manager, Commercial Technology Transfer/Regional
"In the closing decade of this century, entire countries
have come or gone, boundaries have shifted and place names have
changed," said National Geographic Society President John Fahey.
"What better way to start the new millennium than to make sure
every one of our nation's schools is on the same map?"
The National Geographic Society, founded in Washington in
1888 for the "increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge," is
the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational
organization, with 10 million members worldwide.
For information on buying the map ($39.95, order number
M8I22001C), call (800) 368-2728. Schools that have not received
a free map by the end of October should write to: School Map
Giveaway, National Geographic Society Education Foundation, 1145
17th St. NW, Room 2430, Washington, D.C. 20036-4688.
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.
For further information about JPL's Technology Affiliates Program
and related technology transfer programs, visit